Yesterday we saw a number of ideas floated about how to respond....rescission, lawsuits, de-funding and withholding votes on nominees to name a few on the table. There's one idea I'd like to add that is in many ways symbolic but that would focus the nation on the seriousness of this problem, do not invite Obama to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union address.
The Constitution simply requires that "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Nothing requires that he do so in person. The modern in person State of The Union dates back to Woodrow Wilson but Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon all gave written reports as was the custom from Thomas Jefferson to Wilson.
And Presidents don't simply show up whenever they please to address the Congress, they must be formally invited. That's where Boehner and McConnell can strike a blow for the legislature...simply don't invite him.
Brilliant, especially given Obama’s penchant for making everything into a campaign appearance...but we must ponder the possibilities:
- Obama hates to be balked.
- He might, conceivably, try to force his way in, with Secret Service backing.
- It would therefore behoove Congress to prepare to prevent him from doing so.
- That would require an augmentation of the Sergeant-At-Arms’s forces on hand.
- It would also be wise for the members of Congress to wear protective gear: body armor.
Lead might fly. Individuals might be wounded or killed. But the properly prepared would have at least some reason to worry less, having less likelihood of being harmed. Do you think Obama would be among them?
(Apropos of the above, remember this episode? They weren’t ready to prevent him from forcing his way in. Verbum sat sapienti.)
(Cross-posted at Liberty's Torch.)